More Lee to the Bulls rumors

From the New York Daily News:

The Knicks were hoping to get Robinson and David Lee signed at the same
time and that is still a possibility if Lee is willing to agree to a
one-year deal worth between $7 and $8 million. If Lee isn’t signed, the
Knicks will try to work out and sign and trade.
The Bulls have always been high on Lee and may try to work out a deal.
The Knicks like Kirk Hinrich but Chicago would likely push Tyrus Thomas.

I’ve made my thoughts on getting David Lee pretty clear.  He’s not worth giving up cap space next year.   This rumor makes little sense on the surface for either team.   The Knicks want Hinrich while the Bulls want to push Tyrus?

A Hinrich for Lee swap makes no sense for either team.   Hinrich had a healthy 9 million on the books in 2010.  The Knicks could probably sign Lee to a deal with a lower cap hit in 2010 than that right now, so if they were willing to have a cap hit in 2010 it makes little sense to swap the two unless they just think Hinrich is a much better player or are hesitant to commit to Lee long term.

For the Bulls the trade also makes little sense.  Even if they felt Lee was a better player than Hinrich and the cap movement was neutral, they’d be overwhelmed with forwards and not have guards.

If they traded Tyrus instead of Hinrich then they’d rip up the 2010 plan, and it would look like a much more serious mistake letting Ben Gordon walk this off season.    Personally, I simply don’t see how this trade helps fulfill anyone’s needs, so I call BS on the whole thing.   I only write about it because it’s the second Lee to the Bulls rumor we’ve heard.


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  • The language used describing the rumor isn't too strong either. "The Bulls have always been high on Lee and may try to work out a deal" is a far cry from a deal being anywhere near imminent or even having been discussed. Even though I like Lee as a player more than you do, I agree that I doubt that this happens, and that it makes very little sense for the Bulls.

  • A fairly obvious solution would be Hinrich+Tyrus for Lee+Duhon.

    Adding both problems solves most of the issues you've raised, at least.

    The Bulls swap a one-year rental of Tyrus, who has no role here with Lee on board, for a one-year rental of Duhon, who has an obvious role here as the backup to Rose, but isn't important to New York if they've got Kirk.

    Then it comes to a Kirk for Lee swap, and that ought to be a no-brainer for the Bulls. First, Lee can probably be had for a bit less than Hinrich (or at least have his deal structured to be cheaper next year), thus increasing our odds to have that max cap space everyone assumes we're going to have.

    Second, Lee is a couple years younger than Kirk. Third, he plays the position we're weakest at, while Kirk's best position is squarely behind DRose.

  • Does keeping Hinrich mean 2010 is a pipe dream for us?

    No. The Knicks have something like $26M on the books for Summer 2010. So they could conceivably add Kirk at $9M and still have max room to spare, although they start to cut it close. They'd be up to $36M, and the cap is being projected to be anywhere from $50-$55M.

    I mentioned keeping Hinrich on the Bulls, because by my projection, we've got about $37.65M committed for next year if we don't include the QO to Tyrus.

    So in short, the Knicks would probably still be in a position to sign one max player with Hinrich on board. Not a sure thing, but they'd also have a couple guys they could potentially jettison to get it done. Not having him on board doesn't put them in position to sign two. And as we know from thinking about the Bulls position, part of attracting a free agent is going to be putting a competent team around him. Kirk would probably help the Knicks a lot at the PG spot, while Lee is at least somewhat replaceable to them given Gallinari, Hill and Harrington at the 4.

  • I'd guess the Knicks would prefer Hinrich to Lee for the same reasons we might prefer Lee to Hinrich.
    Kirk is an obvious upgrade to Duhon. Lee is better than Al Harrington, but Harrington is still an established player. I'd take Kirk/Harrington/Tyrus for next season before I'd take Duhon/Lee/Harrington.

    Beyond next season, the Knicks seemed to really be shooting for Kidd or Nash. Next year's crop of FA PGs isn't a site to behold. Thus, they'll need someone to play point in the long-run, and Kirk is still fairly young and well regarded. D'Antoni reportedly liked him last year.

    This could be the rare trade idea that makes both teams better. Just like I think Kirk would be a better fit on the Knicks, I think I like Rose/Duhon/Lee for next year (with Rose/Lee beyond) a bit more than I like Rose/Kirk/Tyrus (with Tyrus leaving next year).

    I don't know that this limits us to Wade however. He'd be the obvious choice since Salmons would probably be the weakest link of our starters, but the Bulls should, I think, be open to a sign-and-trade at most any position. If the Bulls turned around and flipped Lee to the Raptors next summer for Bosh, it'd open up some salary to get a Salmons replacement.

    I dunno... I see lots of options there, but ultimately I think the main issues are the Bulls' absolute man-love for Kirk and the slim to none chance they want Duhon back here.

  • You can observe that this source don't know much because Hinrich is more of a flaw than Tyrus Thomas. Hinrich isn't putting up Tyrus Thomas stats so why would they run from a possible rotation of Lee and Thomas. I'm laughing at this guy because it doesn't make sense at all. I would trade Hinrich for Joel Pryzbilla, that's how desperate I'm is to get rid of that scrub. His shot is flat and he doesn't - the dude is just oppositie of Rose lol, simple as that.

  • People seem to forget that Tyrus Thomas rebounding was like a person walking on grits last year. We can use Lee presence to make Ty.Thomas better. I'm sorry Thonus but we not getting anyone better than Lee next year.

  • Here's my scouting report on Isola.

    -At the deadline, one of his sources told him that the Knicks believed that Amare may have been already traded to an Eastern Conference team, but that it would not be annoucned until after the allstar break. They believed the team was either Chicago or Miami.

    -Bulls are in trade talks that would send Larry Hughes to the Knicks for Jerome James and Malik Rose.

    So his sources were good on the Larry Hughes thing, although it was Tim Thomas instead of Malik Rose.

    On Amare, multiple sources seemed to say that the Bulls and Suns were ready to make the trade, but the Suns backed out just before the deadline.

    I think Isola is probably a pretty reputable guy. They have him on NBA TV a lot.

    Working out a trade for Lee might be tough though, because he is a BYC player. If we do something using Demarcus Nelson's minimum contract, using the minimum player trade exception, we might be able to sneak something through.

    We'd have to work on leveraging our expiring contracts this year though, as 2010 free agency wouldn't be an option. And it would make us look extremely foolish for letting Gordon walk (although we will proably look that way regardless) by bypassing 2010 free agency.

  • Disclaimer 1:
    I know that this is a few days past when this was posted, and I am not sure what the updates on this current trade rumor are.

    Disclaimer 2:
    I am a huge Kirk Hinrich fan, so this may be a bit biased.

    Trading Kirk Hinrich for David Lee, though to many makes sense, just doesn't make any sense to me. I feel that Krik is way undervalued by many of the fans because he hasn't put up the numbers in the past couple of seasons. The thing is Kirk, with a little bit more work of the summer could be a top tier perimeter defender. Already he is a very good defender and did a fantastic job on Ray Allen and Paul Pierce when Gordon and Salmons, respectivlty, could not stop them from scoring at will. That defense is what the Bulls need even though it is not the sexy option. Who is going to play that good of defense in our backcourt? Rose and Salmons? No, I am sorry, as promising as they are, their upside lies on the offensive side of the court.

    Also, we have to take into consideration that with Ben Gordon now out of the picture, Hinrich is looking to a decent bump in minutes per game this season. He is our clear cut sixth man and he can play the 1,2, and even the 3 if neccesary. He can also guard, effectively, many "stars" in the NBA. If the Bulls trade Kirk, can they really rely on Lindsey Hunter to step up and play 30 minutes if need be? Probably not because his legs just might fall off.

    The one thing holding Kirk back, is the fact that he has lost that aggresiveness on offense. He is kind of turning into Chris Duhon, passing up on the open shot to feed it to someone else. He also needs to work on finishing at the rim. He is by far the worst on the Bulls when it comes to that.

    David Lee, is a fantastic player and I would love him on the Bulls but I just don't think trading Hinrich for him is the right move for the Bulls.

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